Streamlining Security and Home Automation

As a smart home security system connects to your Wi-Fi network, you can control and monitor your security devices by using your smartphone and an app. Entry-level security systems normally consist of a motion detector, some door and window sensors, and a hub communicating with these devices using one or more wireless protocols like Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, or a proprietary mesh network. You can also add extra motion, door, and window sensors in order to provide coverage for your entire house as well as build a comprehensive system including door locks, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, lights, sirens, garage door openers, water sensors, smoke/CO detectors, and more.

security system

About wireless protocols: In a perfect world, all home security devices would use the same wireless standard to easily communicate with the main hub, but factors like power requirements, price, signal range, and size make it impossible to settle on just one. For example, smaller components like door/window sensors typically use Zigbee or Z-Wave technology as they do not require much power and can be powered by smaller batteries. Moreover, they operate in a mesh topology and can extend the range of networked devices. However, the protocol doesn’t provide the bandwidth that you get with Wi-Fi, which is the reason why it is usually used in security cameras in order to provide smooth video streaming, and in other devices which require a fat pipe. Additional, Zigbee and Z-Wave devices are connected and controlled through a hub, while Wi-Fi devices can be directly connected to your home network and controlled only with an app. Finally, Zigbee and Z-Wave devices use AES 128 encryption, and as they operate in a closed system with a dedicated hub, they can offer more security than Wi-Fi devices.

Any smart security system that is worth its salt can offer components working together in a seamless environment and can also be manipulated using customized rules. Some security systems store locally recorded video on a solid-state drive or an SD card, while others offer cloud storage. In fact, locally stored video is good for do-it-yourselfers on a budget; however, you have to be careful not to overwrite video you might need later. Although cloud storage makes it easier to store and access recorded video, it can cost a lot of money per year depending on your subscription. Some systems provide both local storage and cloud storage, and some offer a dedicated storage drive which gives you DVR capabilities with time-lapse recording, making it easy to find a video event that took place at a specific time.

Steps to Choose a Security System for Your Home

Selecting a home security system is very important to protect your home and family. There are a variety of options and costs to consider before making a decision. It is best to purchase a system that has non-proprietary features and can be modified or repaired by generic parts.

Step 1. Decide whether you prefer a professionally installed security system or do-it-yourself security system that you will buy and install the system.

Step 2. Select a system that has no more than a one-year monitoring contract. Although signing a contract can reduce the up-front cost of equipment, you must take into account a cancelation fee in case that you want out of the contract down the road.

Step 3. Count the number of your home’s doors and windows that need to be secured. This will help in deciding how many sensors you really need.

Step 4. Get at least one smoke detector on your security system, including automatic monitoring. If you are away from your home, the smoke detector can help save some of your valued belongings.

Step 5. Keep all main level doors contacted with a device in order to tell the main panel if it has been opened. If your home has some doors that cannot be reached with wiring, you can use an area coverage motion detector, typically 35 foot (10.7 m) range to protect them.

Step 6. You should use motion detectors in areas that have windows which are accessible from ground level. This can cut down on total cost, too.

Step 7. Consider how your basement can fit into your security options. The wiring of the basement windows and doors are easier for the technician if you have an unfinished basement. But if your basement is finished, a wireless addition to your system might be required to protect your basement, doors, windows, and main floor.

The Importance of Cybersecurity for Online Casinos

Casinos have become a target for scammers since the early days of their existence because the industry is highly connected with money. In the present, there are more and more casino businesses that are created on the internet while the threat from fraud remains unchanged. However, instead of fraud with chips and hidden headphones, there are new methods:

  • DDoS attacks
  • Stealing of user accounts
  • Hacking of games

Therefore, cybersecurity becomes more important than security in a brick-and-mortar casino. Casinos need to be more active than ever in order to protect their platforms, thanks to a million potential ways to hack digitized systems. There are successful online casinos such as Slotozzila, which are able to run a successful online gaming business, protect their casinos, and maintain secure games including quick hit slots. In many cases, online casinos allow users to try it for free to show that it is both fun and secure.

Risks of Hacking

Hacking user accounts is the top risk for online casinos, therefore, it is essential for operators to prevent it. If an online casino is vulnerable, it might reveal personal data of its users to scammers that can steal it from the client. For example, hackers can get credit card information to cause significant harm to the cardholder.

The Integrity of the Game

The integrity of the game is another important point of trust for the online casino. If hackers can compromise the integrity of the gameplay itself, there is a risk to destroy the reputation of gambling platforms.

Customers want to know that they take part in a fair game with a chance of winning. However, if hackers can have access to gaming software, the results for casinos and players can be disastrous. This casts doubt on the integrity of the games and opens the potential for great losses for casino operators. The only way for casinos and game developers is to invest in cybersecurity and regularly check the gaming software to make sure that there are no ways to hack it. But with the changing hacking methods, this is just an ongoing and fierce battle.

How to choose a home alarm system

A home alarm system is a huge investment, so choosing the right company can be a tough decision. There are many options to consider before making a decision. The best thing you can do is to purchase a system which has non-proprietary features and can be modified or repaired by generic parts.

When picking an alarm company, you should consider these things:

  • Cost: Most alarm systems require monitoring payments every month. Make sure to select and set up a plan that is suitable for your budget.
  • Contracts: Some alarm companies ask for multiyear contracts, while other ones allow you to pay month-to-month without a long-term commitment. Although contracts aren’t always bad as sometimes it helps you get deals on equipment or extra warranties, be sure that you know what you’re signing up for before you commit.
  • Equipment: While some alarm companies have a huge selection of equipment, others only offer the bare bones. Decide what you want for your home and your family and make sure the system you select can offer what you really need whether it is an automatic door lock, a smoke alarm, or an outdoor camera.
  • Mobile access: The best alarm systems make it easy for you to check on your system wherever you are. It helps you be able to see that your home is safe whether you are in your bed or in another country.
  • Smart home support: A home alarm system is more useful and convenient if it can be synced with smart devices such as locks and lights. We suggest you choose a system that is compatible with a wide selection of third-party devices.

Here we suggest the top four home alarm companies on the market:

  • Frontpoint – Best easy DIY installation
  • ADT – Best industry reputation
  • Vivint – Best home automation and equipment
  • SimpliSafe – Most flexible contracts

Four Best Home Alarm Systems in 2019

Home alarm systems protect your family and home from fire, water damage, burglary, package theft, and more. Nowadays, there are so many alarm companies to choose from so deciding which one is right for you is not easy.

In this article, we highlight the most important things about the world’s top alarm companies. Consider finding the best security solution for your family, your home, and your budget.

1. Vivint

Vivint focuses on quality equipment and home automation, giving it an edge over other security companies. Moreover, it also offers cheap entry-level plan and contract-free option. Meanwhile, its main drawbacks are long contracts and pricey equipment.

PROS CONS
Contract-free option
Low-cost entry-level package
Top-tier equipment
Convenient mobile access with all plans
Flexible payment options Easy smart home integration  
High-priced equipment
Long contracts  

2. Frontpoint

Frontpoint offers a premium DIY installation experience along with superior customer service. Customer-first policies such as a 30-day money-back guarantee without fees if you move with your system help balance the higher monthly monitoring fees of Frontpoint. Therefore, although Frontpoint isn’t the cheapest system, users tend to stick with this company longer than other ones.

PROS CONS
Excellent customer service
Effortless unboxing & DIY setup
Home automation with Z-Wave equipment
100% cellular 4G monitoring
30-day money-back guarantee
Camera-only plans
Crash and Smash Protection
Free and easy relocation
No mobile
No landline or broadband options  

3. SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe is one of the best options for cheap professional monitoring with no contract. Systems are inexpensive, contract-free, and easy to set up. Its small drawbacks include the lack of an outdoor camera and limited home automation.

PROS CONS
Easy setup
No contractsInexpensive equipment
Option to turn professional monitoring on/off
60-day money-back guarantee
Customizable equipment packages
No mobile access with a less
expensive plan
Minimal home automation
integration  

4. Link Interactive

For those that are big on customization, Link Interactive is amongst the best DIY home alarm systems. Its security systems come with transparent prices versatile and contract options. But one of its drawbacks is that it has shorter customer service hours than its competitors.

PROS CONS
Shorter contract options that
competitors
Transparent prices
No activation or installation
fees
Customizable equipment packages
Video analytics available with
Elite package
Customer complaints about the difficulty
in installing
Fewer customer service hours than
competitors  

Benefits of Casino Security Cameras

Security cameras play a very important role in the gaming and casino industry. Whenever you have a large amount of money, there is always the threat of criminal activity. And it is imperative that the facilities are properly monitored and recorded. The more constant flow of money and foot traffic you have, the higher the risk of an incident there is. As a result, installing a proper security camera system for casinos can help decrease those risks and eliminate crime and theft while allowing customers to enjoy the game safely.

Ease of installation: New enhancements in digital security cameras helps casinos deploy and install cameras easily with a single wire. The security systems’ flexibility allows users to install the cameras most anywhere. If the digital systems are operated through a network, users can see or monitor them from anywhere in the facility.

Crowds: It can be hard for security personnel the large crowds at casinos. Security cameras help casinos monitor them for suspicious activity, and disruptions.

Suspicious casino players: There is always a gambler who is looking to beat the casino system with some sort of hustle or cheating tactic. Cameras that are installed in key areas help security staff to get clear views of the gaming tables so that they can closely monitor all the action of individual players.

Theft Prevention: No one wants to be caught cheating. Security cameras help to simply deter crime by presenting throughout the facilities. Additional, surveillance cameras help authorities identify criminals during criminal investigations and monitor employee theft and dealers who may be co-operating with others to cheat the system.

Violence and Fights: Commonly, where there is gambling, there is alcohol. Whenever you have large crowds, gambling, and alcohol, you have the potential for tense situations. Security camera systems help security staff quickly dispatch guards to a specific area if there is a situation.

Remote Viewing: Digital surveillance systems help security staff be able to monitor video footage live or recorded from different remote locations, including smartphones or tablets.

Three Best Home Security Systems

In terms of securing your home and your beloveds, everyone naturally wants quality and reliability; however, good value is also an important factor, particularly because the cost of these systems can increase over time. There really is no price for peace of mind, but nowadays, it comes a lot cheaper and easier than it used to.

While you can still find a professional service to install detailed systems around your home and then monitor it 24/7, there is another option: buying a system which typically consists of a hub as well as various motion detectors and security cameras that you can set up around your home. They usually allow you to monitor the cameras from anywhere in the world by connecting through your home WiFi network. Here are three best home security systems for you to choose from.

SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe offers protection for every room, window, and door in your house or apartment. It includes 24/7 surveillance for burglars as well as fires, water damage, and medical emergencies by professionals that are always ready to dispatch police. It is loaded with safeguards, including signal encryption and power outage protection.

Google Nest Secure

Google Nest Secure involves cameras, an alarm, video doorbell, and a connected lock that are all designed to work together. You’ll know what is happening at your home right from the Nest smartphone app. This larm system comes with Nest Guard, two Nest Tags, and two Nest Detect sensors. You can check in on the indoor and outdoor cameras when the alarm goes off. The alarm will be disarmed when you unlock the door.

Ring alarm

The brand best-known for video doorbells offers this entire house solution. Offered in three sizes varying on the square footage of your home, Ring alarm includes a base station, keypads, motion detectors, contact sensors for windows and doors, and a range extender. It also easily connects with the video cameras of this brand. You can purchase optional 24/7 professional monitoring for an extra layer of support or control it from a smartphone app.

How to make sure your Ring Alarm kit is kid-friendly

When it comes to your family, the most important thing is to protect those who you love most. A variety of home security kits has been created to set up, monitor, and control your home security wherever you are. Among all, the Ring Alarm kit is a friendly system that help your entire family feel home is safe and secure. Use this guide to make sure your Ring Alarm kit is the most kid-friendly it can be.

1. Think about the place in your home where you and your family can benefit most from placing door sensors and contact window. Consider home entrances where your children have access to and if you want to set the system to alert or chime you when they are used. Besides protecting your home from the outside, security systems are also about protecting your children on the inside from getting out when they shouldn’t.

2. When installing, make sure to place all parts of the Ring Alarm kit out of reach of kids. You can leave the base station and keypad on a table, but if you have small kids, you should mount them out of their reach as well. For older kids, if you want them to operate the keypad, you can place it within their reach.

3. Teach your kids to use your security system if they are ready.

4. Practice the different ways to control the alarm, including: with the Ring App, with a code on the keypad, with Alexa using voice commands and a verbal four digit code.

5. Install an Amazon Echo device and then connect Ring to it. By this way, you can arm or disarm Ring handsfree with voice commands. In addition, your kids can help you control the alarm without tripping over anything to get to a keypad.

6. Select an alarm with a Panic button. Unluckily, sometimes emergencies take place when adults are not home, or adults are the ones who are having the emergency. With the push of one button, even a kid can call someone to the rescue.

All-in-one security systems to watch your home 24/7 (part 2)


Guardzilla 360

Price: $200

Works with: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

The Guardzilla 360, coming with a 100-decibel siren, motion detection, remote arming and disarming, is a quirky all-in-one home security system. However, the standout feature of Guardzilla 360 is its 360-degree 1712p HD live video feed, helping you see everything happening in each room at the same time in high definition.

LG Smart Security

Price: $200

Works with: built-in Z-Wave hub, Amazon Alexa

The LG Smart Security features 1080p live streaming, a built-in Z-Wave hub, Alexa voice integration, and optional professional monitoring from security firm ADT. It is a decent choice for all-in-one home security, however, it doesn’t offer the free cloud storage which you can find with Guardzilla and other standalone systems. It can be controled with your voice using the related Alexa Skill and also offers professional monitoring courtesy of ADT’s month-to-month Canopy service.

Sens8

Price: $200

Works with: N/A

The Sens8 with a vague hourglass shape, night vision, a built-in siren, and HD resolution is another all-in-one home security system, sharing many similarities with its competitors. The Sens8 also has environment sensors which monitor temperature, light, and humidity as well as free video storage via Dropbox and a two-hour battery backup. However, currently, it doesn’t work with any smart home brands.

Somfy One

Price: £229 (roughly $300 converted)

Works with: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Home security startup Myfox was acquired by smart window shade maker Somfy in 2016. Therefore, since then, the Myfox home security accessories range are offered under the Somfy brand. This brand also introduced the Somfy One, a new all-in-one security system with a motion sensor, an HD live streaming camera, and an integrated 90-decibel siren. The Somfy One is available in the United Kingdoms, but currently not sold in the United States.

Three Pillars of Sports Venue Security (part 3)

Acquiring Up-to-Date Best Practices Training

Sports venues are identified as soft targets by the Department of Homeland Security. Like many other soft targets, sports venues security threats are constantly evolving. This spurred the establishment of NCS4 – the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security – a national research center to study and practice the stadium safety and security.

The organization helps the sports industry of the United States have a wealth of resources and opportunities to learn about the latest advances in sports venues security solutions and the most update industry best practices. NCS4 conducts thought leadership summits, professional certification programs, networking opportunities, and evacuation training exercises which offer stadiums security and safety assessments, operating an NCS4 National Sports Security Laboratory to test, evaluate, and validate technology solutions.

By facilitating a mutually beneficial connection among government agencies, professional associations, professional sports and event venues managers, first responders, and security products manufacturers, NCS4 creates a solid industry foundation in order to improve the safety of spectator venues all around the country.

Teamwork Helps in Keeping a Venue Safe and Secure for All

Like sports themselves, security involves team effort to achieve success. And like sports, it is based on strong fundamentals to analyze the field of play and adjust strategies in order to meet new challenges. Sports venues can strengthen their security plans and procedures through these three pillars of comprehensive situational awareness, innovative operations, and timely identification. The best way to achieve this aim is by using strategic integration of the latest field-proven smart camera technology as well as other physical security systems such as video analytics and access control. Stadiums management should also take all the advantage of resources such as the NCS4 and peer conferences to keep up with the latest security best practices in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable game day experience for everyone.